In this issue

Healthcare professionals: commission your own self-care quality!
Linda Dubrow-Marshall outlines some of the issues for healthcare practitioners, and offers some recommendations on developing a ‘toolbox’ for self-care

Self-care for Black and Minority Ethnic practitioners
Susan Cousins explores issues around self-care for BME practitioners

The journey of growth towards authenticity
For Gareth Jones, research which involved rediscovering the past has led to ‘personal treasure’ and greatly benefited self-care and his therapeutic relationships

Maintaining integrity in chronically challenged therapeutic relationships
Anthony Hickey discusses issues around self-care highlighted through his research into how therapists respond to dissociative clients

Counselling with a vision
Diana Savage charts the growth of an inspirational service in Milton Keynes where team spirit is a significant feature

Ageing, growth, time and change: working with older LGBT people
David Richards describes some of the themes central to working with this client group
Reproduced in Therapy Today, December 2011

Thoughts on supervision: necessary support or monthly chore?
John McCourt offers suggestions for including self-care as part of supervision

GP viewpoint
John Hague shares his experience of clinically-led commissioning – and what it might mean for mental health services

The BACP Annual Research Conference: submitting a paper
John McLeod describes the review process and how decisions are made about which papers are accepted for inclusion in the conference programme

Electronic patient records and client confidentiality
Peter Jenkins, associate editor of HCPJ, responds to some of the key issues raised in the recent article by Brian Rock and Helen Brindley on EPRs and their impact on the therapeutic relationship

A guide to… Working with dissociative identity disorder
By Carolyn Spring

On the receiving end
Behaviour therapy put Steve Gee more in control of his obsessive-compulsive disorder

Web resources: older LGBT clients
Key websites for further information

BACP Healthcare update
Chair Tina Campbell and BACP healthcare development manager Louise Robinson on the latest initiatives from the healthcare division

Cover of HCPJ October 2011

Articles from this issue are not yet available online. Divisional members and subscribers can download the pdf from the Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal archive.


When I asked authors to write on self-care for this special issue, I did so thinking of the challenges to self-care that often arise from working in psychological healthcare.

I wasn’t expecting to be moved, but moved I have been – by both the themes and content of the articles, and particularly by the authors’ preparedness to share their experiences to illuminate this important subject.

What strikes me about the richness of the articles in this issue is that the authors write not only with strength of knowledge, they also write from the heart. In our lead article, Linda Dubrow-Marshall’s enthusiasm for self-care is evident as she urges us ‘to be accountable to yourselves and your profession for keeping yourselves mentally fit, and strengthen your resolve to dedicate time and energy to quality self-care.’ Linda goes on to offer valuable suggestions for doing just that. In addition, her awareness of her own need to stay vigilant about self-care is deftly illustrated in her experiences of volunteering to offer therapy following 9/11.

Susan Cousins also draws on her own personal experiences, and those of other black workers, to highlight issues surrounding isolation in the workplace for BME practitioners, and to urge healthcare services to set up black practitioner support groups to foster a sense of belonging. In detailing research which involved rediscovering his own past, Gareth Jones explains how his willingness to explore and integrate his own pain led to benefits for both his clients and himself; Gareth’s open approach may encourage us all to delve deep into our wellbeing for the benefit of therapeutic relationships. In another research-based article, Anthony Hickey comments on one aspect of self-care identified through his recent study of trauma therapists – that of internal self-care. Further findings from Anthony’s research, related to other types of self-care, will be the subject of future articles.

Some of the authors who have written for this issue were approached after presenting their research at BACP’s Annual Research Conference, held in Liverpool last May. Submissions are now being sought for next year’s conference, and in a welcoming and informative article, John McLeod describes how decisions are made about submissions, and provides advice on how to offer a paper, workshop or poster. If you have been conducting research and would like to submit, all details are included. The submission deadline is November 2011.

I hope you enjoy the articles in this issue as much as I enjoyed editing them and working with the authors. As ever, we welcome your feedback and comments in the form of articles or letters, so please get in touch.

Sarah Hovington